Granny, as I call her, is of course Sara’s Granny, but I love her as if she were my own grandmother. Here are two pictures of her that I love. One was taken two years ago and one about two weeks ago in the last days of December 2009. The older photo won a ribbon at Rockton Fair Photography Competition in the portraits department.
I’m planning to share some of Granny’s stories here in the blog, too. She grew up in Kirkcaldy on the Firth of Forth in the Kingdom of Fife, then after her marriage moved to Rhodesia, where my Mum-in-law and Uncle George were born. The family in time moved back to Kirkcaldy and then to Canada.
1. We hear our praises echo with love felt round the Earth,
We are renewed, forgiven – God validates our worth!
We’re changed because we’ve been here, profoundly made anew!
We see the world with vision that God’s love filters through.
2. The decades of our mission fulfilling God’s command,
Have changed our singing spirits just as our Maker planned.
The faithful generations have taught in this great land:
“Seek first God’s holy wisdom (kingdom) and righteous, healing hand.”
3. We’ve learned of one who helped on the road to Jericho,
‘Samaritan’ – a watchword for how we love and grow.
We seek to help a stranger, and walk the narrow way –
This place has shown God’s love that we live through ev’ry day!
4. Our babies are baptised here, the young , they hear the call,
And many blesséd unions shine God’s great love for all.
As we remember loved ones whose final prayers were here,
We know that countless people found God’s compassion near.
5. God’s love is still creating, around us every day,
And Jesus calls us closer in words we sing and pray,
We feel the Spirit moving, our hearts and souls ablaze,
Where all our Alleluias sing universal praise!
for the tune Aurelia 7676D
This hymn was commissioned by Anne Stuttaford (my wife Sara’s Granny, whom I love very much) to honour her friend Ellen MacLean, and Elmvale Presbyterian Church’s Sesquicentennial.
Elmvale is a beautiful little town and the Presbyterian church is a wonderful red-brick structure. Ellen has been a great friend to Granny – always so kind and she often goes over and above the call of duty.
Granny stayed with Ellen for a while in early 2009 and I talked to Granny about being commissioned to write another hymn, and she thought of this as a thank-you gift for her chum. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, and, using the well-known tune Aurelia, I think most congregations could sing it easily.
If you wish to use this hymn, please seek permission from me at email@example.com. Everyone one in a while on this blog I’ll offer free hymns for churches to use. Please do let me know, though, so I can keep track of their use. If you want to see more of my hymns, check the Hope Publishing web site for their online hymnody section.